Today’s question: Who will win The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the All-New 2023 Civic Type R this Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course?
Curt Cavin: For all the Mid-Ohio dominance by Scott Dixon – six wins, including the first five in an eight-year stretch – he has only won once since 2014. That’s one win in seven races, not enough to sway me to pick him this week, although it feels like he’s due. Josef Newgarden has won twice here, including last year from the pole, and while I don’t expect him to win every week, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does. He’s the safe pick, so he’s my pick. But don’t sleep on Will Power, either. They could give Team Penske its third win in the past four Mid-Ohio races.
Zach Horrall: Alex Palou is about due for a win, don’t you think? He’s had a rough last month or so, from an 18th in the GMR Grand Prix to battling back from a penalty in the Indy 500 and a crash at Road America that relegated him to 27th. There’s no better place for Palou to get back to form than a permanent road course, which is his bread and butter and where he’s scored all three of his NTT INDYCAR SERIES wins (Barber Motorsports Park, Road America and Portland). He finished third at Mid-Ohio last year and was even on the cusp of a top 10 in his first race here in 2020. After a hot start to the season, Palou surely wants to prove he’s hasn’t lost that form, and he certainly needs a good race if he wants to stay in the championship hunt. Now is the time.
Paul Kelly: It’s tough for me to pick between Marcus Ericsson and Alexander Rossi, the two most consistently quick drivers in the series since early May. Ericsson knows Road America winner Josef Newgarden is a big threat to his perch atop the series standings, so the best way to slow Joe New’s charge is to win. That’s certainly possible, as Ericsson has finished fourth, first, seventh and second in his last four starts, coming on the IMS road course and oval, the street circuit at Belle Isle and then the natural terrain road course at Road America, respectively. But Rossi has been just as good, with finishes of 11th, fifth, second and third in the same span. While Ericsson has plenty of motivation to stay in the championship lead, Rossi hasn’t been to victory lane in more than three years. That must be eating him alive, and it’s why I’m picking him to win for Honda this Sunday on home turf and pick up his second career Mid-Ohio victory.